Fw: Sun.17.7.22 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Sun.17.7.22 Metro Twitter
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works? [reopened by July?  Closed again by Nov.]
Campbell Arcade (Flinders St station) is closed until 2024. The exit from the Myki gates within the subway will  also be closed. No pedestrian access between the arcade & Flinders St. Use Elizabeth & Swanston St entry/exits. Platform  interchange via that subway will be available until mid 2022.
Mernda line: Trains will run to an altered timetable until Sep 2022 (works).  Trains operate on a single track Thornbury - Regent, and trains will not stop at Bell or Preston.  Shuttle buses operate Thornbury - Bell - Preston - Regent - Reservoir. No access to station facilities during this time.
- Buses replace trains Clifton Hill - Epping until the last train (works).
- Mernda/Hurstbridge lines: All trains direct to/from Flinders St all day (works).  From loop stations, take a train from pfm 3 to Flinders Street.
Buses replace trains Heidelberg - Hurstbridge until the last train (maintenance works).
Buses replace trains on sections of the Lilydale & Belgrave lines until the last train of Sun 24 Jul (works).
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: All trains direct to/from Flinders St all day (works). From loop stations, take a train from pfm 4 to Richmond.
- Buses replace trains Caulfield - Westall until the last train (works).
Frankston line: Trains will run to an altered timetable until late Aug 2022 (works). Trains will stop at all stations Caulfield - Cheltenham in both directions, all day.

New metro to spur Flinders Street development Nick Lenaghan Nov 9, 2020
An art deco building with approval for a hotel development on Flinders Street in the Melbourne CBD has hit the market, with expectations it could join a wave of development around the precinct's new metro station.
At 244-248 Flinders Street, the former Yooralla building is opposite Flinders Street Station and was built originally as Snow's Department Store in the 1930s.
The property, which could fetch as much as $45 million, has been offered by a group of Malaysian investors with vacant possession and development permit for 13-storey boutique hotel.
An artist's rendering of the Flinders Street building and the proposed hotel rising behind it.
The development proposal was granted by the city council in late 2017. It had originally proposed demolition of the existing building but was amended to retain the facade, with the 13-storey addition set back six metres behind it, council planning records show.
The property is just two doors down from where the Town Hall underground station is under construction, a key link in the city's $11 billion Melbourne Metro Tunnel project. 
"Flinders Street Station is already the busiest train station in the Melbourne CBD," said Colliers Interntional's Matt Stagg, who is brokering the property with colleagues Oliver Hay and Daniel Wolman.
"When the Metro Tunnel is complete, this location opposite Flinders Street Station, between Swanston Street and Elizabeth Street, will have the highest concentration of pedestrian foot traffic in the Melbourne CBD and potentially that of any capital city in Australia."
The historical three-storey office building has a net lettable area of 3391 square metres and boasts a 20-metre frontage to Flinders Street. The development approval is for 193 rooms along with restaurants and a bar.
"This is the only and the nearest development site to Federation Square. It is also connected to Melbourne's busiest and most popular al fresco dining laneway of the famed Degraves Street," Mr Stagg said.
The Flinders Street offering, which could win interest from major developers, is among the first clutch of opportunities in the market as Melbourne's long second lockdown comes to an end.
Last week a classic Collins Street office block, also built in the 1930s and now home to the head office of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, hit the market with expectations of $30 million.
Meanwhile, at the Paris end of Collins Street, the four-storey Louis Vuitton building – a Renaissance-style building built in 1880 owned by the wealthy Kearney family – is expected to sell for more than $50 million.

Build it and they will come: $1b office tower above Pitt Street metro.  Nick Lenaghan Nov 2, 2021
Canada's Oxford Properties and its local partner Investa will start building a $1 billion-plus office tower above the new metro station in Sydney's Pitt Street without waiting for leasing pre-commitments, confident the city's revival will bring tenants to their door in time.
Adding momentum to the bold move to go ahead with a so-called "speculative" development, Oxford and Investa have won backing from Japanese giant Mitsubishi Estate, which will take a 25 per cent stake in a joint venture partnership. Oxford, the property arm of giant Canadian pension fund OMERS, will retain a 75 per cent interest.
Parkline Place will rise 39 storeys above the new Pitt Street metro station.
With 47,800 sq m of office space and another 1290 sq m earmarked for retail, the 39-storey office tower will be known as Parkline Place,
 rising above the Sydney Metro's new Pitt Street station, on the corner of Park and Pitt streets.
CPB Contractors, part of the CIMIC Group, has been awarded the full design and construct contract for the project and instructed to proceed immediately with the construction and full delivery of the project.
"Commencement of this development on a speculative basis demonstrates that Oxford and Investa have confidence in both the Sydney office market and the role of the office in supporting company culture," Investa's chief investment officer, Penny Ransom, told T
Australian Financial Review.
"Furthermore, we believe that best-in-class, well-located office assets with superb amenities and sustainability will outperform in the future."
The building is due to be completed by early 2024, just in time for an expected sweet spot for landlords in Sydney's office leasing market, with a relatively large number of corporate leases due to expire later that year.
Along with its handy location above the new station, Oxford and Investa are confident the Pitt Street tower's smart building features and its designer, world-renowned architecture firm Foster + Partners, will also serve it well in winning major tenants.
Occupants will enjoy views of Sydney Harbour, Hyde Park and the Town Hall. The building is the northern leg of two towers that Oxford and Investa are developing above the Pitt Street station. At the southern end, a 234-apartment build-to-rent tower is planned.
CPB Contractors estimates the northern tower will generate $368 million in revenue. It is already delivering the $463 million Pitt Street Station contract and, this year, was confirmed as the builder of the BTR building.
"This contract furthers the CIMIC Group's involvement in the delivery of Sydney Metro's City & Southwest project and its associated building projects," CIMIC Group executive chairman Juan Santamaria said.
"CPB will work closely with its clients and stakeholders to ensure that the building and station function seamlessly and that the new building is safely delivered to schedule."

London rail boss backs Andrews’ vision for Suburban Rail Loop.  Chip Le Grand July 17, 2022
For the past four years, Mark Wild has had responsibility for finally delivering a rail line that was first drawn on a map of London in 1840 and eventually took more than 20 years and the equivalent of $33 billion to build.
So it is not surprising when Wild urges people to take a long-term view about the potential benefits of the Suburban Rail Loop, Melbourne’s mammoth orbital rail project currently being assessed by Infrastructure Australia and expected to eventually cost up to $100 billion.
Premier Daniel Andrews argues the case for the Suburban Rail Loop.CREDIT:AAP
Wild was chief executive officer of Public Transport Victoria for almost two years until he resigned in 2015.
He agrees the pandemic has temporarily disrupted the economic model of mass transit projects traditionally justified by reducing journey times and creating new trips.
He also believes the coronavirus crisis has brought forward a trend towards reduced demand that was already underway, with public transport patronage falling in the last pre-pandemic year by between 3.3 per cent to 6 per cent in New York, Paris and Hong Kong. In the UK, Transport for London in 2019 recorded its lowest patronage for five years.
“If you look at London, Paris and New York, there has definitely been a shift in travel patterns that I think will probably be relatively permanent,” says the former chief executive of Crossrail and managing director of the London Underground. “There is more leisure travel and Saturdays and Sundays and Mondays and Fridays are less congested than they were.
“The pandemic has probably accelerated something that was happening anyway. If you look at London in particular, Mondays and Fridays were already in decline before the pandemic came.”
In Melbourne, medium-term passenger figures can be interpreted in two ways. Data provided by Victoria’s Department of Transport shows that in the 10 years between 2009-10 and 2018-19, the total number of passengers on metro trains, trams and buses increased from 497 million per year to 570 million. This represents healthy growth of 14 per cent.
However, this growth was achieved over a decade where the population of Greater Melbourne boomed by 26 per cent. This means that, when measured on a per capita basis, fewer people were using public transport at the end of the decade than they were at the start, before the pandemic hit.
Since Melbourne was plunged into its first lockdown, patronage numbers have fallen off a cliff. In 2020-21, the number of people who boarded a metro train was less than half the pre-pandemic peak and the projected figures for 2021-22, which are still being finalised, are expected to be only marginally better.
The most recent monthly data suggests a slow recovery rather than snap back, with patronage across all forms of public transport rising to 60 per cent of pre-COVID levels in May and 70 per cent in June. That was before governments and commuters started to get anxious about the current Omicron wave.
The unorthodox development of the Suburban Rail Loop, which was concealed from senior transport bureaucrats ahead of the last state election, delayed scrutiny of the project. The Victorian Opposition has promised to audit the business case for the project if it is elected in November. The Rail Futures Institute, an independent transport think tank, last week called for the project to be shelved in favour of a new rail line linking the western suburbs to central Melbourne.
Wild says London’s Crossrail – and the decision to abandon a proposed second stage of the project – provides important lessons for post-pandemic infrastructure planning in Australia. As he points out, if a pandemic had hit London at the start of the century, the east-west Elizabeth Line might never have been built, much to the city’s detriment.
“The key to cement the Suburban Rail Loop is to have continuity,” he says. “In the UK we have made a mess of it. We should have gone onto Crossrail 2, but we have had to put that in the icebox.”
He says the benefit of the Suburban Rail Loop is that its sections can be built progressively, providing a reliable supply chain of materials and labour demand for decades.
“The Suburban Rail Loop is a case study of a modular railway. You could produce a factory and keep it going. The mistake would be to do a little bit, leave it for a couple of years and come back.”
Wild says the case for the Suburban Rail Loop should extend beyond direct economic benefits to the reductions in emissions that will flow from having more people ditch their cars for trains which, according to the business case, will be powered entirely by renewable energy. KPMG modelling estimates that the Cheltenham to Airport stage of the project will take 600,000 cars off Melbourne’s roads.
Wild says that London and the UK have tended to follow a boom-bust pattern of major infrastructure investment. He contrasts this with Australia where, according to figures provided by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, there are transport project pipelines wroth $166 billion in Victoria and $123.7 billion in NSW.
“I think Suburban Rail Loop makes sense. It is something which, in 50 years time, people will think that is really smart what they did.
“As long as you are building smart stuff which is coherent, with a pipeline, in a modular way with no regrets, I think you should just get on and build it.”
RELATED ARTICLE Tom Considine, Daniel Andrews, James MacKenzie, who helped come up with the state’s Suburban Rail Loop. Thrown in a loop: How Daniel Andrews’ biggest project was cooked up behind closed doors
* but it's not being built coherently.
there aren't enough stations planned nor is there any plan for how to get people to or from the stations at a scale large enough to produce the reduced traffic volumes that are forecast.
* It’s a great idea we need to think into the future not short term.
* Hope that we get the Rail loop built as a long-term project. It makes a lot of sense overall although the business case for some individual stations need to be improved.
* It will all be good as longs they don't stuff up the key interchange stations at Southland, Glen Waverly and Box Hill. These must be user friendly and work well with the surrounding landscape.
* “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Albert Einstein. Some people are visionaries but they are few. Most of the general population find them annoying & frightening. But it is the visionaries who change our world & a lot of times for the better. Is the Suburban Rail Loop such a project that 50 yrs from now people will think “How could we live without it?” SkyTrain in Vancouver, which should have been built to today’s existing lines 30 years ago, is one such rail-line. However, SkyTrain was the classic start/stop development. Let’s not emulate Vancouver!
* If we don't fix health, people will continue to flee the state and further undermine the already flimsy business case for SRL. Focus spending on the area of greatest community need - not just where Labor's union bosses want money to flow.
* Totally agree with the need for long term vision in relation to public transport. Ever been on trains in Europe? Ever been in trains in the US as an alternative comparison.? If Kennett had his way we would be like the US. Thank goodness Dan and Labour came along and presented Victoria with transport solutions. Especially as Scomo arranged gif our oil reserves to bd stored in the US. How dumb was that?
* This loop should have been built 40 years ago but sadly most governments don't plan more than 3 years ahead. The Andrews government is building Melbourne for future generations. Just get on with it.
* $100 billion? How many hospitals could you build with $100 billion?
* Buildings aren't the problem, it's finding staff to work in them.
* look at another way - perhaps 4 submarines by 2050, if we're lucky.
* What a confusing article, on the one hand Wild says there is declining patronage but on the other hand Melbourne needs to spend more. How much has Andrews spent propping up Metro trains during Covid. Why not return it to government funded?
* How many $millions are we wasting propping up the CBD when it is clear the trend is now to work/live/play in the suburbs? You just might find those opposed to a suburban rail loop - actually any project that improves cross-suburban travel - has an interest in promoting the CBD and encouraging commuting to it.
* Totally necessary. A project we needed decades ago and one that will stack up post covid for many reasons.
* Precisely - MR Wild! Retrofitting a rail loop is almost impossible. This infrastructure will be painful, expensive, long, arduous, complicated, irritating but SO WORTH IT!
The people who are opposed to public transport are those who don't use it and those who see political gain in nay-saying.
Of course patronage was down during the pandemic. It will bounce back in a big and in a few short years we will be saying the capacity is too low.
If you build it, they will come.
* Exactly anyone I’ve heard from who’s a naysayer drives to work and barely uses PT. I haven’t had a car for 9 years since moving to inner city Melbourne. The PT is good but plenty of room for improvement we are a way off London, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo.
* If they'd been really smart they would have built an outer suburban rail loop along the land that Eastlink uses. Land was already reserved, no tunnelling and far more use for those who live out there. Try getting from Ringwood or Lillydale to Dandenong or Frankston by public transport. Buses are infrequent and require changes. If you go by train you have to go into the city and out again. Maybe there's still enough room alongside Eastlink to do it?
* But the state govt of the day refused to listen to our expert engineers at the time. Tunnels need specific clearances to ensure tracks snd overhead have appropriate spaces.
* Do an analysis of the amount of people living conveniently close to the line compared with Melbourne and London and you will find much less people around the Melbourne stations so really not justified / Melbourne is just too big area wise but not having the population to justify the cost of this project
* Could be because London has more stations or maybe we just built our stations in the wrong places and didn't have lines connecting the places where people want to go.
* What? It goes through suburbs stacked full of people.
* isn’t this part of a long term plan – for a population far greater than now – also involving high density development being constructed around the future stations?
* A loop is formed when the two ends intersect. This proposal is not a rail loop. The London circle Line is a rail loop.
* Ok then. Let's tunnel under the bay to make it a loop then
* Transport for London no longer operates the Circle underground line as a circle. Services are diverted to/from other lines. It is no longer possible to ride right around the circle on one train. In Melbourne we have so much to do on our present network to bring it all up to a high standard of service frequency and reliability. Before we go on a high priced circular frolic.
* Don’t we have the old tourist tram for that?
* any prospect of getting a detailed business case? Seems to have been lacking anything bigger than the back of an envelope
* The business case is in the same drawer as the nuke subs business case.
* Problem is our state debt is most likely greater than Londons. It’s all good until the bill arrives hey Dan.
* Time for a revolution and a move away from the industrial age of the big city centre. But no. Stubbornly government stick with this outdated way of working. Let the cities evolve and the 'workers' not waste their lives in inhuman cattle carriages to and from work. Give life to the 'burbs and let the regions grow (sorry regions, we don't really want another wave of cloned suburban style developments...). Shake up your thinking so-called consultants and Governments.
* The suburban rail loop is designed so that people don’t actually have to go into the city to then go back out. So I’m not quite sure what your point is.
* You do know the suburban loop is just that? It goes through the outer suburbs not into the city.
* “As long as you are building smart stuff which is coherent, with a pipeline, in a modular way with no regrets, I think you should just get on and build it.” Yes, absolutely - make a start, and keep going as fast as funding & resource constraints will allow!
* The important factor is that this can be a 'modular' project which continues to be constructed over many years without the expense of start stop project. No need to retrain the workforce.
Can't see why 'Rail Futures' is not on board. With the industry set up, the chances of its project coming to fruition are increased.
* This is the second article in a couple of days trying to defend the Suburban Rail Loop project. The trouble with both these articles is that they are defending the high level concept of Suburban Rail Loop, but ignoring the serious design issues with Suburban Rail Loop which are the bigger issue. For the first stage due to be opened in 2035, there are only 6 new stations, of which only 2 provide new public transport coverage, and the construction removes somewhere around 50 hectares of existing and planned public open space from the community. Yes, the concept of Suburban Rail Loop is a good one. But is it being designed in the best possible way that will maximise benefits for the community, and get the maximum amount of cars of the road? Not at all. We need more scrutiny of the design than the concept.
* Cut and cover fast track and save $$ Worked in NY and Paris.
* Forever debating, chopping and changing the plan for our rail network will get us nowhere. Let us finish what has been planned with only the minor local alterations which are identified as necessary as the work proceeds.
* An expert who speaks logic from a position of knowledge. Anyone who has experienced the Underground in London, will know the undeniable luxury of a well-designed system which serves so many needs.
* Population density?
* Good. Agree. It is needed If the libs get in it will never happen. All they do is build roads
* Only private roads though. Transurban ones.
* I noticed this ‘600,000 cars taken off the road’ stat by KPMG in another Rail Loop article this week, I’m wondering if more context could be provided for it.
Mainly, the powers that be seem obsessed with pumping Melbourne’s population to 8 or 9 million by 2050, so presumably there’ll be many millions MORE cars on Melbourne’s roads by the time the loop is finished, so how many cars or car trips is the baseline for today, and how many cars or car trips are there expected to be by 2050? ‘600,000 cars’ taken off the road thanks to the rail loop sounds impressive out of context, but is this actually a big number or will it be a drop in the ocean compared to the congestion everywhere else on the road network?
Also, it’ll hardly reduce emissions significantly as I can’t imagine there’ll be 600,000 PETROL cars still driving around in 2050, surely they’ll all be electric by then anyway?
* Exactly. It is best to build infrastructure earlier rather than later. I just want to be able to get on a train to the airport, preferably without having to go into the city and out again. I want people who visit from interstate to be able to get to my house on public transport easily from the airport. You can do it very easily in Sydney, but NOT in Melbourne and Canberra.
[The government and its quangos will do anything to avoid making the current system work properly.  Simple and affordable fixes give far more bang for the buck, but without the photo opportunities.
SRL works only if half of the city is bulldozed and redeveloped.
On the preliminary plans, the stations are mispositioned to serve the traffic nodes which are claimed as justification for building it.
Moskva has one; Beijing has one; London has bits of one; Yingon has one.  Berlin and Hamburg sliced theirs into independent halves.
So far, every transport mistake which Victoria has ever made has been endorsed by a UK 'expert'.  PTV has been a disaster, precisely because it was dominated by UK].

Sun.17.7.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Watchdog thrust into tunnel row.  KIERAN ROONEY
THE Andrews government's role in a bitter union turf war on the West Gate Tunnel and other government projects has been referred to the state's corruption watchdog.
Opposition industrial relations spokesman Nick Wakeling has written to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission about the escalating dispute.
Builders have been shedding workers and companies who are linked to rivals of CFMEU.
This has largely involved people linked to the Australian Workers’ Union but also groups that are not aligned.
The militant CFMEU has been shutting down and causing chaos on projects while demanding these groups be removed from work.
The West Gate Tunnel and a level crossing removal in Sunbury have become flashpoints in the fight, with dozens of workers kicked off sites in the past week.
The Andrews government has been accused of allowing the behaviour on its projects and of telling major builders to deal with the union or risk forgoing billions of dollars in work they're bidding for.
Mr Wakeling said it was time for the government's role in the saga to be examined.
"Recent allegations of coercion involving preferential deals with CFMEU are very concerning." he said.
A government spokesman said: "What IBAC chooses to investigate is a matter for them."
Industry sources have warned builders are "folding" to union demands to protect themselves from costly delays.
Projects that create significant disruptions or are already delayed, such as the West Gate Tunnel, have allegedly been targeted because they are already sensitive to public scandals.
The opposition will ask IBAC to investigate what role the state has played in these negotiations amid allegations of widespread coercion.
Whistleblowers claim the state has signalled to builders they could miss out on other big projects if they don't cave to CFMEU's demands.

Sun.17.7.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Letters.
* SOME 320 coal-fired power generators under construction in the world today and we're closing ours due to our emissions policy.  Own goal.
* THE privatisation of essential services? How's that working out for you?

Sun.17.7.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Graffiti.  IAN ROYALL
A CLEAN -UP blitz in central Melbourne has scrubbed away an unprecedented amount of graffiti.
The four-month project by the city council has eliminated unsightly tags on 80,000sq m of surfaces in the continuing battle against the vandals who deface the city, especially during the pandemic.
The council’s Rapid Response Clean Team completed more than 22,000 removal jobs since the blitz began in March.
Acting Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said almost two MCGs worth of graffiti in surface area had been removed in less than four months.
“We’re leading the charge to tackle illegal graffiti by cleaning council- owned buildings and stepping in to help property owners clean up their assets,” he said.
“During the blitz, nearly 90 per cent of our Clean Team’s work was removing graffiti from privately owned buildings and assets.”
The council is urging building owners to contact it to help stamp out the “destructive scourge”.
The scale of the problem was highlighted by Herald Sun earlier this year, with the average number of requests to clean graffiti in the CBD doubling, and the council expected to receive about 3000 such requests this year.
Mr Reece acknowledged the increasing problem and urged property owners and government agencies to help clean and maintain their assets.
The council has dedicated a record $28.2m in its latest budget, including $1.5m to expand the Rapid Response Clean Team.
“We know everyone is furious at the amount of vandalism and graffiti that has occurred over the past few years,” Mr Reece said.
“We want to stamp out this destructive scourge and make Melbourne a city that we can all be proud of again.”
The problem had worsened when the city centre was comparatively empty during 2020 and 2021, leading to graffiti vandals moving in to deface buildings, including many popular tourist spots.
During the latest clean-up, almost a third of the graffiti removed was from the central city, with 25 per cent of the clean-up in North Melbourne and Carlton, and West Melbourne and Kensington accounting for 17 per cent of graffiti jobs.
Herald Sun reported last month that police, too, were targeting graffiti vandals, with Operation Fade arresting 39 suspects.

Sun.17.7.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Manchester United tram.
MANCHESTER United's stars kept their Aussie tour rolling in the most Melbourne way - riding on a city tram before receiving a huge welcome from fans at Federation Square.
The soccer heroes arrived at their only off-field public appearance in the city in style, stepping off the special-livery Manchester United tram to be greeted by a sea of red shirts and choruses of "United‘ sung by supporters from near and far.
The tram with United players on board travelled through city streets on Saturday under police escort. Federation Square's stage was temporarily transformed into part of United's famous Old Trafford home ground even including a fake locker room.

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